Monday, November 17, 2008

Metro begins picking up leaves

By Nancy DeVille • THE TENNESSEAN • November 14, 2008 Got leaves? If so, Metro Public Works crews will haul them off during its fall leaf collection that begins Tuesday, Nov. 25. Public Works workers will travel the existing 12 brush routes to collect bagged leaves left at the curb or in alleys. Residents should use paper or plastic bags and have bagged leaves out for pickup by the first day of collection in their area. The leaf collection is provided for residents in both the Urban Services District, where Metro arranges trash pickup, and the General Services District, officials said. The service does not include satellite cites such as Belle Meade which has a contractor that provides once a week, year round chipper service, brush and leaf collection for its residents, said Beth Reardon, the city manager. Belle Meade residents are asked to put their brush, limbs and bagged leaves at the street for pickup on their collection day, which is either Monday, Wednesday or Friday. The city of Forest Hills has a chipper service that picks up brush year round, but during the months of November and December, the city's chipper service picks up bagged leaves for residents. Bags should contain leaves only. Residents can simply leave their bagged leaves at the edge of the road for pickup. Davidson County residents can also take bagged leaves to Metro's Bordeaux mulch facility at 1400 County Hospital Road free of charge, but plastic bags are not accepted. EarthMatters Tennessee, at 1001 Gale Lane, allows residents to bring leaves to its George W. Carver Food Park at 10 a.m.–2 p.m. each Saturday for disposal. The nonprofit organization also offers a pick up service for a donation. The organization is looking to collect 10,000 bags this year. "We are retraining people how to think," said Sizwe Herring, executive director of EarthMatters Tennessee. "Leaves are not trash, and we shouldn't treat them as such." At EarthMatters Tennessee the leaves are used during their educational programming to teach youth and residents about the process of composting. "We make about 30,000 pounds of compost each year," Herring said. "If the city did it on a much bigger level, we could do a lot to help affect positive green change in Nashville." Besides bagged leaf collection, there are other ways to dispose of leaves. They can be mulched in place by a lawn mower or piled up in the yard for composting. Raked leaves should not be placed into the street where they may clog up storm drains or cause other problems, Public Works officials said.

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